It is every parent’s worst nightmare: your child is born with a birth defect or experiences a birth injury during delivery. Some birth injuries are caused by negligent actions by a physician or obstetrician before or during birth and can cause permanent disability leading to lifelong care.
In the U.S., it is estimated that 5 out of every 1,000 births incur a birth injury. If the infant was injured in a preventable situation, the child’s parents may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, general pain and suffering and emotional distress. If you believe your doctor, hospital or others acted negligently and caused a birthing injury, please contact a medical malpractice attorney today for legal consultation and potential representation.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
According to the Center for Disease Control, birth defects are the leading cause of infant death and other serious infant health conditions in the United States. It can be very difficult to decipher whether a complication during delivery caused a birth injury or the infant was born with a birth defect. Many birth defects are unavoidable or were caused by other factors such as alcohol or drug use during pregnancy, prescribed medications, or exposure to toxic chemicals. Birth defects can range from minor to life altering. A birth injury is caused during labor and birth; a birth defect was formed before labor. If you believe your infant suffered a birth defect as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, prescription medication or another external factor, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact a personal injury attorney today for full legal consultation.
Do You Have a Legal Claim against a Birthing Injury?
If your physician used mechanical forces such as stretching, pulling or pressure during delivery, there is a possibility that your baby’s oxygen supply was cut off and caused brain damage. Your physician may also be liable for damages for not taking appropriate actions to monitor, diagnose, assess or otherwise respond to symptoms or conditions presented during your pregnancy or labor thus contributing to a birth injury.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
A Brachial Plexus (Erb’s Palsy)
A Brachial Plexus injury is paralysis of the arm due to damage of the upper group of the arm’s main nerves, the C5-C6. This damage is commonly caused by a side-pulling of the infant’s neck or head while the shoulders pass through the birth canal during an abnormal or difficult childbirth or labor. The condition can also be caused by aggressive pulling on the shoulders during a head-first delivery or by pressure on the raised arms during a breech (feet first) delivery.
Cortical Blindness is the total or partial loss of vision in an otherwise normal-looking eye caused by damage to the brain’s occipital cortex. The most common cause of cortical blindness is ischemia (oxygen deprivation) to the occipital lobes sometimes caused by birth injuries.
Cerebral Palsy is a condition characterized by, but not limited to, abnormal muscle tone and/or coordination, impaired motor function, speech disorders, epilepsy, seizures and learning disorders or disabilities which may be caused by birth trauma.
In order to successfully acquire birthing injury related damages from your doctor, hospital or other medical staff, you will need to prove their negligence. A medical malpractice attorney is there to help you prove your case, starting with the particulars of your circumstance and consulting other medical experts who will show what level of care is considered reasonable and how the birth injury could have been avoided. If you have been affected by a birth injury, protect your rights.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!